Oriskany on the bottom

UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: Oriskany has sunk

Pensacola NewsJournal:

The last tip of the Oriskany’s hurricane bow disappeared into the Gulf at approximately 11 a.m.

Local officials are hopeful the Oriskany settled on the sea floor in an upright position. But they won’t know for sure until Navy divers check the vessel later today.

Navy engineers predicted the Oriskany would sink evenly in a process that would take up to five hours. Instead, the old aircraft carrier went down in approximately 35 minutes, sinking sharply by the fantail.

That might not be too good. Navy divers will have to verify that all explosive charges went off and that the ship is resting safely. If she’s not sitting upright, the island superstructure will be deeper than planned and could greatly reduce the number of recreational divers that can reach the wreck.

As the carrier went down, its bow stuck up, straining the heavy metal anchor lines. The port side bow line appeared broken early in the process. Clouds of debris could be seen billowing from the hangar deck, and water churned and bubbled heavily at the submersion point. Towlines strained at the bow.

The 50-foot boat with the explosive generator and electronics gear appeared intact on the flight deck surface. The boat was expected to float away from the carrier after the Oriskany was fully submerged.

Hopefully we’ll have some pictures soon. It must have been a sight to behold.

UPDATE: Some pics here.


  1. Hey, …doc, could we please see more Oriskany posts? And what happened to the XM8 posts. I really enjoyed them. ;-) (btw, I’m Airborne and no sailor (just a lake power boater), but I believe, once a ship is decommissioned, it should be referred to as the ‘ex-Oriskany.’) Wish they’d sunk her with bombs and missiles, but maybe that would have been disrespectful, even though, technically speaking, she’s no longer the Oriskany, but only the ex-Oriskany.

  2. LOL, ACE. I just emailed someone and said that I had posted on the tip they sent in (NSA wiretap stuff) and said that I finally got to it because ‘Oriskany madness’ had passed. I’ve been watching this story for years and how many times do we get to see a flattop going down? XM8? I tried grilling the HK guys on that at the SHOT Show in Feb and they totally blew me off. The gun-blogging has gotten pretty thin here on MO…